Otter Splash News & Reminders

Posted by Stephanie Bias on 9/17/2021

Principal’s Otter Splash 9/17/2021 Versión en español aquí

Hello, Oak Grove family! We hope you had a wonderful weekend. I appreciate your grace and patience while we had to navigate the unexpected water main break on Wednesday. Thankfully we were back up and running with water on Thursday morning. On Thursday, we celebrated our wonderful Instructional Assistants for the Wake County Instructional Assistant Appreciation Day. If you didn’t get a chance last week, please take a moment to thank an IA. We cannot thank them enough for all they do!


On Tuesday, September 21, we hope that our new Assistant Principal will be announced at the Board Meeting. Mr. Mack will be at Oak Grove through the beginning of October to continue to support our school and help in the transition.


Outdoor Seating Update:

We want to thank the families that have already done a lot of work to make this happen. We have relocated some tables from around our campus to the area outside the cafeteria. We have also had a generous donation of 2 wooden tables from Ms. Swanson’s class. On Friday, September 17, our school received 3 tables from the supply already purchased by WCPSS. We are up to 11 usable tables. Our fifth-grade classes enjoyed the outdoor eating space on Friday afternoon! The Outdoor Seating Committee is on to the next step: Volunteer Lunch Monitors. They will be sending out information soon about how you can sign up, the time commitment, and the guidelines to follow. We hope to have an A/B rotation schedule beginning in October when students will be able to eat outside.


Welcome Mr. Chip Mack, our Interim AP:

We were excited that the Board approved our Interim AP, Mr. Chip Mack. Mr. Mack will serve our Oak Grove family through the month while we finalize the decision for the new Assistant Principal. As an introduction, Mr. Mack provided the following:

I am excited to support Oak Grove Elementary as an Interim (temporary) Assistant Principal.  I see my job as ensuring student success by supporting Ms. Bias and her goals for the school.  After working in WCPSS for 39 years, I retired this past January.  I love working in schools and recently worked as a substitute teacher in several schools, including Oak Grove Elementary. My previous positions include teacher (10 years) assistant principal (6 years), and principal (23 years).   

I believe in fairness, understanding, and making connections with students, staff, and families to support our school.  My plan for the near future is support Oak Grove Elementary.   

My wife, Denise and I have two boys (12, and 15) and a German Sheppard Mix.  We love spending time outdoors, cooking, attending soccer games, and occasional road trips to the beach or the mountains.   

As a parent, I understand the love and devotion parents have for their children.  I frequently think back to the pride I felt when I was notified of my first job as a teacher.  I knew immediately that I would be a positive influence for students.  


PTA Partners with Local Camp and Local Artist:

Over The Moon Play Space is offering play-based STEM and Art track-out camps this fall and winter, with both half-day and full-day available.  They are going to donate 10% of all camp revenue booked with code OGES between now and the end of September to the OGES PTA!  Go to to learn about the camps and book a spot.


The PTA has an exciting opportunity for you to remember your child’s time at Oak Grove. The local artist, Lew Wilson, has created a print of our beautiful school. You can even order an ornament! You can find the information here:


Track 1 Summer Camp (September 13-17 and September 20-24):

Ms. Tysor ( is our Summer Camp coordinator. The students attending Track 1 Summer Camp were identified in the Spring. We look forward to welcoming our Track 1 Summer Camp students.


COVID cases at school:

Please help us continue to keep our Otters safe by carefully monitoring any symptoms at home. Please do not send your Otter to school unless they are free of symptoms. Also, please encourage your Otter to appropriately wear a face covering as much as possible while indoors. The exception of exposure statement from the COVID team reads: Exceptions:  If face coverings were worn appropriately (over nose, mouth, and under chin) and consistently by both the person with COVID-19 and the potentially exposed person.

If we have a presumptive positive case at school, the school’s first step is to notify the COVID nurse/health department. We work with that agency to conduct contact tracing. Individuals that are determined to have been in contact with the presumptive positive case are notified.

CDC considers someone exposed to COVID-19 if they were within 6 feet of an infected person, without a face covering, for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period starting from 2 days before illness onset or, for infected people without symptoms, 2 days before they had a sample collected to submit for COVID-19 testing.

WCPSS no longer sends out an email to the entire school when there is a presumptive positive case. Instead, the School District will update the WCPSS COVID Metrics website daily to list schools where someone reported to have COVID-19 was in the school. Information for employees is shared via WakeConnect.

All reporting and notifications must maintain confidentiality in accordance with FERPANCGS 130A-143, and all other state and federal laws.


Yearbook Cover Contest:

Hello Otter Families!

I am excited to announce the beginning of our annual Yearbook Cover Contest! Our theme this year is based on a quote from Helen Keller, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." Entries are due by October 8.  Finalists will be announced by October 21. There will be more than one opportunity for students work to be featured. We will select six pictures for the inside pages, nine for the back cover, and one for the front. Artwork is chosen from all grade levels.

Additional details are included on the entry form. 

Over the next two months, I will be working with all classes on the role of an artist as illustrator. We will begin our pictures in art class, but students may also take their entries home to work on. All students will create work based on the yearbook theme as an assignment. However, they are not required to enter the contest. 

I can’t wait to see the ideas our students come up with this year!

Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions.  

Mrs. Huovinen


Reminders for Carpoolers for a smooth arrival & dismissal

  • Morning carpool begins at 8:45 and ends by 9:10. Please try to arrive on campus between 8:45-9:00. As a reminder, students need to be inside the building by 9:15 or they will be considered tardy.
  • Afternoon carpool begins at 3:40 and ends by 4:00. During the first few days of a track change, the carpool line may take a little longer than 4:00. If our families arrive on time and ready, we should be able to complete the carpool around 4:00.
  • Adults stay in car at all times with car running
  • Please have your carpool number displayed during dismissal
  • Please practice carpool numbers with your student
  • Students should be ready to get out of the car quickly. If they are able, they can open the car door on their own. Our staff is there to help if needed.
  • Students should be seated in the back passenger seat (right side of the car) upon arrival; and will be placed in the back passenger seat at dismissal
  • Students should have backpack/personal items ready
  • Say goodbye or hello quickly
  • You can pull off by the Oak Grove track to the right as you exit if your Otter need help buckling up before leaving our campus



As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions you may have. We are happy to help.


All my best,


Stephanie Bias, Principal



  • September 20-24: Track 1 Summer Camp Week 2
  • September 27-September 30: Track 2, 3, 4 Family Conferences
  • September 30: Quarter 1 ends (Track 2, 3, 4)
  • September 30: Track 4 Track-Out Day
  • October 1: Teacher Workday (No School for Students)
  • October 4: Track 1 Returns
  • October 4-15: Apex Leadership Fun Run (Track 2&3)
  • October 4-8: Track 4 Summer Camp Week 3
  • October 5-7: CogAt testing for Tracks 1, 2, & 3
  • October 8: Quarter 1 Report Cards go home (Track 1, 2, 3)